Tagged: law

Legal gibberish, or Why Legal Research Is Important: Stanard v. Nygren

I know that as you read and brief cases and work on your research assignments, legal language seems like gibberish at times. Sometimes it is in fact gibberish, as we can see in the following case. We can also see that submitting gibberish to the courts can have negative consequences: this case was dismissed with prejudice, and the attorney was ordered to show cause why he should not be suspended from practice or otherwise disciplined. Yikes! Don’t let this happen to you (or your employer!). Click through for the full opinion, but here is the Court’s final note summarizing the problems with the appeal:

One final note: Compounding the problems he exhibited in the district court, Maksym failed to file a reasonably coherent brief on appeal. All the deficiencies that plagued the various versions of the complaint also infected his briefs here. Maksym never directly addressed the issues before this court, relying instead on cases of marginal or no relevance. In the table of authorities in his opening brief, he cites 81 cases, but almost all of them are completely irrelevant to the issues presented here. In his reply brief, after the defendants had crystallized the issues, Maksym again failed to meaningfully—or even comprehensibly—articulate an argument. His appellate briefing was characterized by a reliance on irrelevant, conclusory, and often incoherent arguments of which the following is a representative example: “Plaintiffs claims were not ‘intelligible’— no ‘needle in a haystack’ as Appellees’ claim.” In short, Maksym’s entire approach to this case was alarmingly deficient. For all the foregoing reasons, we hold that the district court was well within its discretion to deny leave to file the second amended complaint and to dismiss the case with prejudice. We also order Maksym to show cause within 21 days why he should not be removed or suspended from the bar of this court or otherwise disciplined under Rule 46(b) or (c) of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure. We also direct the clerk of this court to send a copy of this opinion to the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission of Illinois for any action it deems appropriate.

H/T Lowering the Bar